Bolivian Senator Erick Morón from the Creemos party has announced Tuesday he submitted a bill whereby chemical castration and life imprisonment would be added to the current Penal Code against rapists and murderers.
Currently, the maximum penalty allowed by Bolivian law is 30 years in jail without the possibility of parole or pardon.
Morón explained he had decided to work on this bill due to the alarming increase in femicides, infanticides, rape, and even dismemberment of bodies.
In his view, people who commit these crimes are not afraid of the current penalties and therefore they need to be harsher.
We cannot allow our country to become fashionable that our society does not feel indignation with all this that Bolivians are experiencing, Morón said during a press conference.
The judicial reform is not only to see who the new magistrates will be,” he pointed out. “The judicial reform must also contemplate comprehensive issues such as the ones we are experiencing. That is why today, as a senator, I have presented this bill formally before the Senate that talks about chemical castration and life imprisonment, he added.
Chemical castration was proposed for cases of rape against children under 14 years of age — except for consensual relationships between adolescents over 12 years of age, not exceeding three years apart; in cases of rape, in which a person of legal age has relations with a person between 14 and 18 years of age by seduction or deception; and when non-consensual penetrative sexual acts are carried out “through intimidation, physical or psychological violence” or when the victim has a physical or mental disability.
Life imprisonment is also foreseen in the bill for the homicide of a father, mother, grandfather, or another direct line ancestor or when the victim is a descendant, spouse, or partner of the accused; or is committed for futile or low reasons; with treachery or cruelty; by price, gifts or promises; using poisonous or other similar substances; or to facilitate, consummate or conceal another crime.
The so-called chemical castration is a treatment in which drugs are administered to reduce libido and therefore sexual activity. It is a reversible process and the recovery of the subject is possible once the treatment has been interrupted, which must be carried out every six months, it was explained.
In 2017, former Vice Minister of Citizen Security, Carlos Aparicio, suggested chemical castration as a measure for rapists of minors who cause the death of their victims. A year later, the then-mayor of El Alto, Soledad Chapetón, also submitted a draft adding castration to the penalties of those sentenced for the rape of children or adolescents.
The most recent attempt was in 2020 when a parliamentarian from the currently ruling Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) submitted a similar proposal to the Plurinational Legislative Assembly.
Between January 1 and August 31, 2021, 81 cases of femicide and 26 infanticides were registered in the country. In 2020, 113 femicides were reported and 117 the year before.